How to Finish the Year with Finesse | Part 2

by | Productivity Advice | 10 comments

In Part 1 of this series, I introduced the idea that a combination of mindfulness and planning can help you finish the year with finesse. We focused on a set of steps to gain focus and clarity:

  1. Celebrate your victories.
  2. Take a snapshot inventory.
  3. Clear your plate.
  4. Focus on next actions.

In this post we’ll bookend that discussion, as I teach you how to plan the last three months of the year. All too often, the momentum of planning we create at the beginning of the year has long fizzled by October. I’ll show you how to get that back!

Note: You can look at this exercise with more than just scrapbooking in mind. It’s your call.

Step 1. Estimate your time. Look at a calendar and pencil in the times you are likely to scrapbook or do scrapbook-related tasks. It’s important to be realistic, with a hopeful edge.

Look at every week day and weekend between now and January 1st. Think about your current habits and what that time of year looked like last time around. Take a good guess and pencil in 30 minutes here and 3 hours there.

This activity will give you a reasonable time budget, a general sense of how much time left in 2014 you have to scrapbook. Plus, making appointments for yourself now will make these estimates more likely to happen!

Step 2. Choose one big thing. With a context of time in mind, I suggest choosing one big thing to be the focus of your attention. This is not the time to spread yourself thin.

Consider whether that is a project you want to finish or one you’re itching to start. While I’m not saying you can’t do other things, you should select one activity as your priority.

Your time budget will give you a clue as to whether you’ll have just enough time for this one thing or you’ll have extra for something else.

Step 3. List essential tasks. The spaces around your big thing will be filled with everyday, almost non-negotiable, tasks. Activities like photo processing and backing up fit in this category.

Failing to include these “little” tasks (which actually add up), is one of the biggest reasons that plans fall apart. When you take on too many big things, there’s no time left for rest.

And the thing is, these activities are the ones that also contribute the most to memory keeping. After all, you need photos to scrapbook!

What’s your “one big thing” for the rest of the year? Leave a comment and share what scrapbook activity you will focus on between now and next year.

Did you find this post helpful?

We believe simple is not how your page looks, but how your scrapbooking hobby works. We have a free workshop called SPARKED and it is the best way to learn more about Simple Scrapper and start creating consistently.


  1. Ami Pilon

    I found that doing a December Daily was a bit too much last year and so along with my Project Life monthly, I am going to do a week in the life album for the last week of the year. This will take in the holidays and both of the New Year’s Eve birthdays that are a part of our last week of December.

  2. Karen Sheffer

    My one big thing is photo triage (in the words of Stacy Julian). My photo software has made working with my photos difficult so I am working on revamping that. Doing this will help me to get more excited about scrapbooking and memory keeping, in part because it will hopefully be easier. 🙂

    • Karen Sheffer

      …my other big thing is finding a way to make a small business out of my crafting.

  3. C.Robin

    My big thing is to finish my scrapbook from our trip to France and December Daily.

  4. Courtney Muir

    Tell me about the planner in the photo? Is it just a notebook? I’m looking for something like that to be organized next year!

    • Jennifer Wilson

      The binder is a Martha Stewart mini binder from Staples. It’s 5.5×8.5 size. The pages are from the 2014 Start Fresh workbook here at Simple Scrapper – and I will have a new version for 2015.

      • Courtney Muir


  5. Gab

    Thanks Jennifer. I need to make time to back up all my photos. They’re currently all on CD and DVD and I also want to have them on external hard drives and in the cloud somewhere. That will be a big job!

  6. Lindsey

    My major projects are to finish up my project 365, my weekly project life album (yep I did both), and to keep up with my December Daily. I have almost completed all my template/layouts for December Daily and now I just need to journal and take pictures. I guess you could say I’m waiting on December to start. I have a goal to finish everything by January 31st because I will be moving in February. I have made my 2015 planner and made sure to put graph paper for sketches, to do list for everyday task, lined pages for story telling, and a place to write down my weekly layouts along with what file names I need to complete my layouts. I am so ready for this year to end simply so I can order ALL of my albums (I have 4 albums to be completed and ordered). It will be my 1st P365 album, 1st full year of PL (I only did the last 6 months last year), and my 2nd December Daily album. I also made an album of ALL my photos in a contact sheet form. It’s the biggest album yet.

  7. Lindsey

    Also if anyone wants to know where you can order a hardback or paperback book with a large amount of pages has an amazing site with lots of options from coil bound, full color albums, and different sizes. They are reasonably priced and most books can hold up to 780 pages (great for a family heritage album or a true 365 book (1 photo/1 page/day)). They do not offer layflat albums. is another book publishing site. It does off large capacity 12X12 layflat books along with 8.5X11 landscape and portrait sized options. They are a print on demand service that schools use for there year books now. I mention these because in my quest to find a large capacity 12X12 album I almost gave up hope. Most people talk about Blurb, Snapfish, Shutterfly, and other “photobook” publishers but I have found that print on demand services that are geared towards student yearbooks or self published authors are often something we would be interested in as well. After all, we are authors when it comes down to it.


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